YORK UNIVERSITY


Prepared by:               The Department of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS)
Reviewed and Edited by:    The Faculty of Pure and Applied Science
Revision Date:             August 2004

                THEIR SUPERVISORS.

Revised August 2004
                      York University Laboratory Safety Program
                                  Table of Contents

   1)  DOHS Mission Statement………………………………………………………………. 1
   2)  Objectives……………………………………………………………………………….. 1
   3)  Philosophy…………………………………………………………………………….… 1
   4)  Program Review………………………………………………………………………… 1
   5)  Glossary of Terms……………..……………………………………………………….. 2
   6)  Roles and Responsibilities……………………………………………………………… 3
          A)     Suppliers……………………………………………………………………… 3
          B)     Employers……………………………………………………………………. 3
          C)     Supervisors…………………………………………………………………… 3
          D)     Workers………………………………………………………………………. 4
          E)     Faculty………………………………………………………………………... 6
          F)     Joint Health and Safety Committees…………………………………………. 6
          G)     Department of Occupational Health and Safety……………………………… 6
          H)     Laboratory Supervisors and Teaching Assistants..…………………………… 7
   7) Emergency Procedures…………………………………………………………………. 7
          A)     Evacuation……………………………………………………………………. 7
          B)     Chemical and Biological Spills………………………………………………. 7
          C)     Fires………………………………………………………………………….. 9
          D)     First Aid Emergencies………………………………………………………. 11
          E)     Other Emergencies, Incidents and Near Misses…………………………….. 11
          F)     Emergency Resources………………………………………………………. 12
   8) Laboratory Emergency Equipment………………………………………………….. 12
          A)     First Aid Kits……………………………………………………………….. 12
          B)     Eye Wash Stations………………………………………………………….. 13
          C)     Deluge Showers.………………………………………………………….… 13
   9) Laboratory Electrical Safety…………………………………………………………. 13
          A)     Minimizing Electrical Hazards……………………………………………… 14
   10) Handling and Storing Hazardous Materials………………………………………… 16
          A)     Chemicals…………………………………………………………………… 16
          B)     Compressed Gas Cylinders…………………………………………………. 18
                   i)      Cryogens………………………………………………………….. 19
                   ii)     Dry Ice…………………………………………………………….. 20
          C)     Glassware…………………………………………………………………… 21
   11) Labelling Hazardous Materials………………………………………………………. 21
   12) Personal Protective Equipment……………..………………………………………… 22
          A)     Eye Protection………………………………………………………………. 22

Revised August 2004
          B)     Body Protection…………………………………………………………….. 22
          C)     Foot Protection……………………………………………………………… 22
          D)     Hand Protection…………………………………………………………….. 23
          E)     Respiratory Protection……………………………………………………… 23
          F)     Hearing Protection………………………………………………………….. 23
   13) Laboratory Equipment and Furniture………………………………………………. 24
          A)     Fumehoods………..………………………………………………………… 24
          B)     Heating Baths………………………………………………………………. 25
          C)     Ovens……………………………………………………………………….. 26
          D)     Autoclaves………………………………………………………………….. 26
          E)     Refrigerators and Freezers………………………………………………….. 27
          F)     Storage Cabinets……………………………………………………………. 27
          G)     Maintenance of Equipment…………………………………………………. 27
   14) Hazardous Waste Disposal…………………………………………………………… 28
          A)     Responsibilities…………………………………………………………….. 28
          B)     Chemical Waste and Gas Cylinders………………………………………… 29
          C)     Biohazardous Waste………………………………………………………… 29
          D)     Sharps………………………………………………………………………. 30
          E)     Glass and Plastics…………………………………………………………… 31
          F)     Radioactive Waste………………………………………………………….. 33
   Appendix I:
                 Emergency Spill and/or Odour Procedure………………………………. 35
                 Emergency Response Plan for Chemical Spills…………………………. 36
                 Emergency Response Plan for Biological Spills…………………………. 39
                 WHMIS Laboratory Door Poster………………………………………… 42
   Appendix II:
                 DOHS Chemical/Biological Incident Report Form……………………… 44
                 Supervisors Accident Investigation Report Form………………………. 44
   Appendix III:
                 Chemical Incompatibility…………………………………………………. 46

Revised August 2004
1)      DOHS Mission Statement
To promote the highest standards of Occupational Health and Safety in the York Community with
professionalism and objectivity.

2)      Objectives
The Laboratory Safety Program supports York University’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy.
Its objectives are as follows:

     1. To ensure that laboratory workers follow the standard operating procedures developed at
        York University in a consistent and safe manner while working/studying in their

     2. To assist supervisors to make their workers aware of applicable requirements found in
        legislation, standards, practices, and procedures as they pertain to the safe handling, storage
        and disposal of potentially hazardous materials in their laboratories.

     3. To assist supervisors to identify potential and actual hazards in laboratories under their
        authority and to give consistent instruction to workers regarding the measures and
        procedures to be taken for their protection.

3)      Philosophy
Safety in the laboratory requires ongoing attention and reinforcement of safety practices. All
accidents have a cause and therefore can be prevented, but only when safety consciousness is a
priority in the laboratory. Neglecting to take reasonable precautions may not only endanger your
own life but the safety of those working with you. This program provides general health and safety
guidelines that must be read and understood by all laboratory occupants.

4)      Program Review
The York University Laboratory Safety Program shall be reviewed once every two years in
consultation with the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

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5)     Glossary of Terms
Controlled Products: Any product that can be included in any of the following classes:
                                 • Compressed gas
                                 • Flammable and combustible material
                                 • Oxidizing material
                                 • Poisonous and infectious material
                                 • Corrosive material
                                 • Dangerously reactive material
                     Refer to the York University WHMIS Program for further details (available
                     on the DOHS website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm).

DOHS:                 Department of Occupational Health and Safety.

Employer:             A person who employs one or more workers or contracts for the services of
                      one or more workers, OHSA Section 1. (1).

Hazardous Material: Same as “controlled product”, above.

MSDS:                 Material Safety Data Sheet. Refer to the York University WHMIS Program
                      for     further  details    (available    on    the    DOHS    website:

Supervisor:           A person with charge of a workplace or authority over workers, OHSA
                      Section 1. (1). NB: This includes faculty members if they have teaching,
                      graduate or research assistants answering to them.

Wet Laboratory:       Any space in which solid, liquid or gaseous chemicals are being used and
                      where there is a risk of spills and splashes or the formation/accumulation of
                      aerosols, fumes, vapours, etc.

Worker:               A person who performs work or supplies services for money, OHSA Section
                      1. (1).

WHMIS:                Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Refer to the York
                      University WHMIS Program for further details (available on the DOHS
                      website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm).

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6)        Roles and Responsibilities

A supplier is a person who manufactures, processes, packages, sells, or imports a controlled product
intended for use in the workplace (WHMIS: A Guide to the Legislation, Sect. 3).

Suppliers of hazardous materials are responsible for:

     a) Classifying hazardous materials into the six WHMIS classes (see Appendix I). A supplier
        must consider the technical criteria of each of the six classes and determine the applicability
        to its products.
     b) Providing supplier labels on the hazardous materials going to the workplace.
     c) Providing MSDS with the hazardous materials going to the workplace.


Employers are responsible for:

     a) Verifying suppliers’ labels and obtaining MSDS.
     b) Ensuring all hazardous materials in the workplace are appropriately labelled.
     c) Ensuring workers understand the information provided on labels and MSDS.
     d) Ensuring workers understand the particular hazards of their jobs.
     e) Providing MSDS to various authorities (e.g., Ministry of Labour, Local Health Unit, Fire
        Department, etc.) upon request.
     f) Providing any information to a doctor or nurse in the case of a medical emergency, including
        trade secrets (e.g., confidential business information).


Supervisors are responsible for:

     a) Assuming the responsibilities of the employer (as outlined above), as assigned to them by
        their position at York University.
     b) Advising workers of hazards in their workplace [OHSA sec. 25, 27 and WHMIS (Reg. 860)
        sec. 6]. Supervisors have a legal duty to be familiar with the WHMIS requirements and all
        other hazards associated with the job. For further information, refer to http://www.e-
     c) Providing written procedures to the employee, where required by the WHMIS regulation or
        where the supervisor believes it to be reasonable for the protection of the employee.
     d) Ensuring that employees work as required, using the required equipment and protective
        measures identified by the supervisor or by the OHSA or its regulations.
     e) Making sure all hazardous materials in the workplace are labelled in accordance with the
        WHMIS Regulation.

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     f) Maintaining a current electronic or paper file of MSDS for all controlled products used in the
        workplace (e.g., research or teaching labs, workshops, studios, etc.). All MSDS must be
        current to within three years and be readily accessible by workers. New or updated MSDS
        should be obtained from the supplier or from DOHS.
     g) Providing any information to a doctor or nurse in the case of a medical emergency, including
        trade secrets (e.g., confidential business information).
     h) Updating chemical inventories on a regular basis, as required by the University and the
        individual Faculties.
     i) Providing appropriate worker education. Employee positions must be evaluated in terms of
        the potential risk of exposure to hazardous materials on the job. Where the workplace
        conditions change, workers must be provided refresher or additional training.
     j) Maintaining employee training records for WHMIS, radiation safety, laser safety, or any
        other health and safety courses that are not offered or provided by DOHS.
     k) Completing and submitting Supervisor Accident Investigation Reports in the case of a
        worker accident or incident occurring at the workplace. This is to be submitted to the
        Employee Well Being Office within 24 hours of the accident or incident, regardless of
        severity or outcome of the accident or incident.
     l) Ensuring that the WHMIS form on the laboratory door is kept up to date, including
        emergency contact names and telephone numbers. This form should be updated as
        laboratory conditions change or once every two years, whichever comes first. Please refer to
        Appendix I for this form.
     m) Posting the location of the closest designated first aider in a conspicuous area, such as by the
        telephone or by the exit.
     n) Ensuring the proper decommissioning of laboratories under their charge upon
        relocating from or leaving their position at York University. This includes the proper
        disposal or transfer of all chemical and biological products in accordance with departmental,
        faculty or university requirements.
     o) Performing regular workplace health and safety inspections of laboratories or work
        areas in their charge and ensuring proper documentation of the same.


All university employees are workers as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This
includes research personnel (e.g., graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants,
doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, etc., whether permanent York University researchers or
visiting researchers). Workers are responsible for:

     a) Attending all required health and safety training, as provided by DOHS or other
        training agencies and as indicated by their supervisors, prior to commencing work
        within the laboratory. Consult your supervisor or the DOHS website for further details
        regarding required training: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/training.htm.
     b) Working in compliance with this Laboratory Safety Program and following procedures
        developed by their supervisors to enable them to work safely.
     c) Reporting any hazards to their supervisors, per the York University Occupational Health and

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        Safety Manual procedure: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/pdf_documents/hazardreport.pdf.
   d)   Not using any hazardous material, apparatus, machine, equipment, etc. or working in a
        manner that places them or others in danger.
   e)   Determining the potential hazards, appropriate safety precautions and proper waste disposal
        techniques before beginning any new operation or experiment.
   f)   Knowing the location and proper use of emergency equipment (e.g. safety showers, eye
        baths, fire blankets, fire extinguisher, equipment on/off switches, circuit breakers, and first
        aid kits).
   g)   Wearing lab coats and protective eye wear at all times when in a lab containing
        chemicals. Standard prescription glasses are not appropriate unless they are shatter-proof
        and equipped with side guards (when working in a wet lab).
   h)   Wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment for the work being done. With
        regard to contact lenses, their use shall be permitted only if worn in conjunction with
        appropriate personal protective equipment and/or as directed by the laboratory supervisor or
   i)   Not wearing open-toed shoes or clothing that leaves a significant portion of the legs exposed.
   j)   Confining long hair and loose clothing or jewellery when in the laboratory.
   k)   Not allowing eating, drinking, smoking, or application of cosmetics in any laboratory or in
        any other chemical area.
   l)   Not pipetting by mouth.
   m)   Removing gloves and washing hands with soap and water before leaving the work area.
   n)   Making sure that all chemicals are correctly and clearly labelled (refer to the WHMIS
        Program on the DOHS website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm).
   o)   Using laboratory equipment only for its designated purpose and ensuring that all laboratory
        equipment and apparatus are set up as far back on bench as conveniently possible so it will
        not tip onto floor.
   p)   Assembling apparatus so that control valves and switches will remain accessible if a fire
        should occur. Apparutus should be set up so that it is not necessary to reach through the
        assembly to turn water, gas or electricity on or off.
   q)   Identifying the location of equipment shut off switches and ensuring they are easily
   r)   Not leaving experiments in progress unattended.
   s)   Combining reagents in the appropriate order (i.e., pour water first and then acid and avoid
        adding solids to hot liquids).
   t)   Cleaning up spills immediately (refer to Section 6).
   u)   Keeping sinks clean, practising good housekeeping and cleaning up at the end of lab work.
   v)   Keeping exit aisles and paths to emergency equipment free from obstructions (e.g., chairs,
        stools, boxes, etc.).
   w)   Ensuring that pets and children are kept out of laboratories.

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E)       FACULTY

Faculty are responsible for:

     a) Assuming the responsibilities of the employer, the supervisor and the worker (as outlined
        above), as assigned to them by their position at York University.


The following union or worker groups are represented by Joint Health and Safety Committees
(JHSC) at York University:

     •   CUPE 1356, 1356-1
     •   CUPE 3903
     •   YUFA
     •   YUSA
     •   IUOE (Health and Safety Representative only)

The current members list as well as minutes from the most recent committee meetings are available
on the DOHS website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/committees.htm. The JHSC is responsible for:

     a) Investigating and identifying hazards and recommending procedures to eliminate risk to the
        health and safety of workers.
     b) Participating in the review of the Laboratory Safety Program once every two years to enable
        employees to work safely and to make any changes or updates to the Program, as needed.


The Department of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) is responsible for:

     a) Assisting in the development and revision of the Laboratory Safety Program once every two
     b) Providing advice and consultation to department heads, supervisors, employees, unions, and
        Joint Health and Safety Committees through the Laboratory Safety Program.
     c) Filing MSDS and distributing new MSDS to the four remote locations on campus:

         Science Stores               Petrie 002                            55244
         Biology                      Lumbers 130                           22657
         PRB Stores                   Physical Resources Building 1019      33200
         Fine Arts                    Fine Arts 274                         55136

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This group of workers is specifically addressed in this section due to their unique status (for the most
part) of strictly overseeing non-workers (i.e., students or unpaid researchers). Laboratory
supervisors and teaching assistants (TA) are responsible for:

     a) Assuming the responsibilities of the worker (as outlined above), as assigned to them by their
        position at York University.
     b) Ensuring proper storage, handling and labelling of all hazardous materials in the laboratory.
     c) Leading by example or by direction that carelessness or lapses in safety are not acceptable.
     d) Establishing safe work practices and ensuring that all students are informed and fully
        understand any risk present in the lab.
     e) Ensuring familiarity with the procedures that must be followed in case of an accident.
     f) Participating in regular health and safety inspections of the laboratories in their charge.

7)       Emergency Procedures

Evacuation procedures should be planned in advance and Designated Assembly Areas should be
known for each building. For further information regarding evacuation, refer to information
provided by Security Services regarding Emergency Guidelines (available on the Security Services
website: http://www.yorku.ca/security/emergencyGuidelines.htm).


For the purposes of this section, a "spill" is defined as the unwanted release of a hazardous material
where the immediate cleanup of that material does not occur because:

     •   it would be unsafe to do so and/or
     •   the worker responsible for that spill is not competent to safely clean it up

For example, a chemical spill in a laboratory could be perceived as an emergency to an
administrative or other office employee. However, the same spill may not be perceived as an
emergency to a chemistry professor or science worker who is competent and trained to clean it up
safely. Although a spill may not be an emergency, all spills of hazardous materials shall be reported
to the Department of Occupational Health and Safety as soon as possible. DOHS will complete a
Chemical/Biological Incident Report Form in cooperation with the laboratory users involved in the
spill (refer to Appendix II for a copy of this form).

Workers shall be properly trained and must review procedures to clean up hazardous spills for which
they are responsible in their area. The person responsible to clean up the spill is the supervisor or
his/her worker in that area. DOHS staff are not responsible for the cleanup of hazardous spills.

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The Emergency Response Plan for chemical and biological spills and the flowchart for spills and/or
odours is in Appendix I. The WHMIS Laboratory Door Poster is also included in Appendix I (for
more details on WHMIS, refer to the York University WHMIS Program on the DOHS website:
http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm). These forms shall be displayed, where applicable, in
all laboratories.

When a spill occurs, a clean up should be initiated immediately to reduce the likelihood of
accumulation of and exposure to harmful vapours. All laboratories where hazardous materials
are present shall have a spill kit available.

Generic as well as chemical-specific spill kits are available for purchase from Science Stores. The
generic kits contains the following items:

   •   A 20-litre bucket with lid
   •   Three pairs of thick nitrile gloves
   •   Three absorbent mats
   •   One medium-sized polyethylene bag

Additional items that may be found in a spill kit include rubber boots, Keep Out signs or Caution
tape, respirators, aprons, etc. This will depend on the type and size of kit that is acquired or
assembled. Note that one large emergency spill kit is available at Petrie and Farquharson Stores in
the case of large spills. However, their presence does not remove the requirement for labs to have
their own kits.

The following chemical-specific spill kits can also be purchased from Science Stores. These are
called J.T. Baker Spill Kits and have a maximum clean up capability of 4 L.

Acid Spill Cleanup Kit:
      Name of Absorbent: Neutrasorb Acid Neutralizer
      Appearance:        Fine blue/purple powder
      Directions:        Apply Neutrasorb from the perimeter inward. Mix thoroughly to
                         obtain uniform colour. Add copious amounts of water to aid
                         absorption and colour reaction.
      Colour Code:       Red/Pink - Highly Acid
                         Yellow/Buff - Slightly Acid
                         Blue/Green - Neutralized (safe)
      Colour changes:    Purple (Box) → Red (Acid) → Yellow (Acid) → Blue (neutralized)

Caustic Spill Cleanup Kit:
       Name of Absorbent: Neutracit 2
       Appearance:         Fine yellow powder
       Directions:         Apply Neutracit 2 from the perimeter inward. Add cool tap water to
                           aid absorption and colour reaction.

Revised August 2004                                                                              8
         Colour Code:          Blue - Caustic
                               Yellow/Green - Neutralized
         Colour changes:       Yellow (Box) → Blue (Caustic) → Yellow (neutralized)

Flammable Solvent Spill Cleanup Kit:
     Name of Absorbent: Solusorb
     Appearance:            Black granular material
     Maximum Spill:         239 mL (requires two boxes)
     Directions:            Mix Solusorb and solvent until the Solusorb regains its appearance as
                            a dry, free running, non-adhering granular material. In proper
                            quantity, solvent odour will be very slight. Add more if odour is

Chemical spill kits as well as mercury spill kits can be obtained from the following locations:

     •   Volatile Room 030H Petrie                             Phone 55244
     •   Volatile Room G105 Farquharson                        Phone 30570
     •   112 Lumbers                                           Phone 22651

The mercury spills kit also contains a hand held aspirator for collecting liquid mercury.

Regardless of the size of a chemical spill, appropriate protective equipment must be used to ensure
there is no overexposure to the chemical during clean up. The type of protective equipment required
will depend upon the nature of the chemical(s) involved. The MSDS should be referenced to obtain
information regarding appropriate protective equipment and clean up procedures for the chemical(s)
being handled.

In the case of a chemical odour, charcoal fan filters can be obtained from Facilities Services Stores
(ext. 22401).

After using a spill kit, it is the responsibility of the user to clean up the kit and ensure that it is
properly restocked and ready for the next user. If in doubt, contact Science Stores personnel.

C)       FIRES

Upon discovery of fire or smoke, one should:

     •   Activate the nearest pull station or call 911 then notify Security Services at 33333 or 416-
     •   Evacuate the building to the appropriate Designated Assembly Area and remain outside until
         given permission to re-enter the building by Toronto Fire Department (TFD) or Security
     •   Not use elevators.
     •   Not attempt to extinguish a fire beyond one’s capability.

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For further information regarding emergency procedures for fires, refer to the Security Services
website: http://www.yorku.ca/security/emergencyGuidelines.htm).

Classes of Fire:

Class A:       wood, textile, paper, and other ordinary combustibles
Class B:       gasoline, oil, paint, or other flammable liquids that vapourize when heated
Class C:       electrical equipment
Class D:       combustible elements such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, and

Fire Extinguishers:

To be most effective, the fire extinguisher spray should be aimed at the base of the fire and worked
from the point immediately in front of the extinguisher operator progressively toward the rear of the
fire, away from the operator. Further information regarding fire extinguishers can be obtained by
contacting the Fire Prevention Office at ext. 33937 or 77290.

The type of fire extinguisher to be used depends upon the class of fire, as identified above.

Class A:
   • use in fires involving solid fuels (Class A fires)
   • a Class A extinguisher contains water under pressure to cool the fuel during the
       extinguishing process

Class B:
   • use in fires involving petroleum and solvent fires (Class B fires)
   • a Class B extinguisher contains either carbon dioxide or a dry chemical such as potassium or
       sodium bicarbonate and last for 15 to 30 seconds
              those Class B extinguishers with carbon dioxide put out fires by removing one of the
          essential components of a fire (i.e., oxygen) by displacing the air in the vicinity of the
          fire therefore requiring the user to be within 3.3 m or 10 feet of the fire to be effective
              those Class B extinguishers with dry chemicals put out fires by direct contact with
          the burning material

Class C:
   • are used for electrical fires (Class C fires)

Class D:
   • used primarily for reactive metal fires (Class D fires)

In the case that an individual’s clothing has caught on fire, a Class A extinguisher should be used.
Otherwise, an emergency deluge shower or the Stop, Drop and Roll method should be used.

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It should be noted that in most areas in which hazardous materials are routinely used, universal fire
extinguishers are present. Verify with your supervisor, by inspecting your closest fire extinguishers,
or by contacting Fire Prevention at ext. 33937 or 77290. Universal fire extinguishers are stamped
ABC, indicating that they can be used on virtually any type of fire without concern for compatibility.


In the case of a first aid emergency, the procedure below should be followed:

     1. Call 911 directly in the case of any life threatening emergency then immediately contact
        Security Services at ext. 33333or 416-736-5333 to inform them that emergency services are
        en route.
     2. If the emergency is not life threatening, simply call Security Services directly at the numbers
        indicated above. York University will provide immediate transportation to a hospital, a
        doctor’s office or the worker’s home via taxi, as appropriate.
     3. If first aid is required, obtain first aid by contacting the certified first aider and by accessing
        the First Aid Station. Security Services personnel can also provide first aid – contact them at
        the numbers provided above.
     4. In all cases, the employee’s supervisor must be notified immediately if an incident or illness
        occurs. The supervisor must file a Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report form to the
        Employee Well Being Office within 24 hours of the incident or illness (refer to Appendix II).

If an individual is experiencing cardiac arrest on campus, Security Services possess two Automatic
External Defibrillators (AED). These can only be used by Security Services personnel who have all
been trained in their use. Follow the procedures above, ensuring that you indicate to Emergency
Services and Security Services that a cardiac arrest is occurring.

For further information regarding emergency procedures for first aid, refer to the Security Services
website: http://www.yorku.ca/security/emergencyGuidelines.htm).


All incidents, spills and emergencies, including all those listed above, must be reported to the
Laboratory Supervisor, DOHS and the department Health and Safety Officer (HSO list on DOHS
website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/doc/Main/area_health_and_safety_officers.htm). An incident
is defined as an event that results in injury to people and/or damage to the environment, equipment,
property, and/or material (Workwell Core Health and Safety Audit, Workplace Safety and Insurance
Board, Prevention Division).

For further information regarding emergency procedures for other types of emergencies, refer to the
Security Services website: http://www.yorku.ca/security/emergencyGuidelines.htm).

A near miss is defined as an event that under different circumstances could have resulted in physical

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harm to an individual or damange to the environment, equipment, property, and/or material
(Workwell Core Health and Safety Audit, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Prevention
Division). Near misses should be reported to your supervisor who must then report it to the
Employee Well Being Office (EWO) using the Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report
(Appendix II) or any other form of written correspondence. For further information regarding near
misses, please refer to the EWO website: http://www.yorku.ca/hr/hrservices/ewb/index.html.


Department of Occupational Health and Safety
      East Office Bldg. C37    416-736-5491 (or ext. 55491)               http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/

Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety
      Hamilton                  1-800-263-8466                            http://www.ccohs.ca/

CANUTEC (Canadian Urgence Transport Emergency Centre)
    Ottawa                 Emergencies: 1-613-996-6666                    http://www.tc.gc.ca/canutec/
                           Information: 1-613-992-4624

8)       Laboratory Emergency Equipment

First aid kits shall be located in every building and should be in an area that is easily accessible to all
employees. A worker with a valid First Aid certificate (known as the Designated First Aider) is
responsible for the station and maintaining its supplies. A sign should indicate the name of the first
aider and where the kit is located.

First Aid Box Contents:

     •   1 MTM Resuscitator
     •   1 pkg. zip lock bags
     •   1 pressure dressing - 2"
     •   1 box sterile gauze pads
     •   1 pressure dressing - 4"
     •   1 micropore tape - 1/2"
     •   1 Large pressure dressing
     •   first aid scissors
     •   2 triangular bandages
     •   first aid forceps
     •   2 soft stretch 3" dressing
     •   assorted safety pins

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     •   1 pkg splints
     •   first aid booklet
     •   1 pkg latex gloves
     •   1 box plastic strips

These items can be obtained through a Purchase Order from Stores in Facilities Services. A first aid
kit inventory list should be kept within the kit. A log of items given out and first aid rendered
should also be maintained within the kit.


At least one eye wash station should be placed in an easily accessible location in every wet
laboratory. Plumbed eye wash stations are checked approximately once every six months by
Facilities Services personnel. A tag should be present on the station with the date of the last
inspection, the name of the inspector and problems found, if any. Portable plastic squeeze bottles
are to be maintained by the user and the water changed according to manufacturer’s
recommendations (i.e., approximately once per month when using regular tap water or once per year
when using saline solution).


CSA-approved shower units should be in easily accessible locations. These are checked
approximately once every six months by Facilities Services personnel. A tag should be present on
the station with the date of the last inspection, the name of the inspector and problems found, if any.
 The shower should be positioned such that the water from the shower does not come into contact
with electrical wiring. It is recommended that the showers be run for approximately five minutes,
four times per year to flush any bacteria that may be present.

9)       Laboratory Electrical Safety
Electrically powered equipment, such as hot plates, stirrers, vacuum pumps, electrophoresis
apparatus, lasers, heating mantles, ultrasonicators, power supplies, and microwave ovens are
essential elements of many laboratories. These devices can pose a significant hazard to laboratory
workers, particularly when mishandled or improperly maintained. Many laboratory electrical
devices have high voltage or high power requirements, carrying even more risk. Large capacitors
found in many laser flash lamps and other systems are capable of storing lethal amounts of electrical
energy and pose a serious danger even if the power source has been disconnected.

The severity and effect of an electrical shock depend on a number of factors, such as the pathway
through the body, the amount of current, the length of time of the exposure, and whether the skin is
wet or dry. Water is a great conductor of electricity, allowing current to flow more easily in wet
conditions and through wet skin. The effect of the shock may range from a slight tingle to severe
burns to cardiac arrest.

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There are various ways of protecting people from the hazards caused by electricity, including
insulation, guarding, grounding, and electrical protective devices. Laboratory workers can
significantly reduce electrical hazards by following some basic precautions:

     •   Inspect equipment wiring before each use. Replace damaged or frayed electrical cords
         immediately. Contact a Facilities Services electrician at ext. 22401 for assistance.
     •   Use safe work practices every time electrical equipment is used.
     •   Know the location of and how to operate the shut-off switches and/or circuit breaker panels
         located in the laboratory. Use these devices to shut off equipment in the event of a fire or
     •   Limit the use of extension cords. Use them only for temporary operations. In all other
         cases, request installation of a new electrical outlet from Facilities Services at ext. 22401.
     •   Use only multi-plug adapters equipped with circuit breakers or fuses.
     •   Minimize the potential for water or chemical spills on or near electrical equipment.


         All electrical cords should have sufficient insulation to prevent direct contact with wires. In
         a laboratory, it is particularly important to check all cords before each use, since corrosive
         chemicals or solvent vapors may erode the insulation. Damaged cords should be repaired or
         taken out of service immediately, especially in wet environments such as cold rooms and
         near water baths.


         Only equipment with three-prong plugs should be used in the laboratory. The third prong
         provides a path to ground that helps prevent the buildup of voltages that may result in an
         electrical shock or spark. This does not guarantee that no one will receive a shock, be
         injured, or be killed. I t will, however, substantially reduce the possibility of such accidents,
         especially when used in combination with other safety measures.

Circuit Protection Devices:

         Circuit protection devices are designed to automatically limit or shut off the flow of
         electricity in the event of a ground-fault, overload or short circuit in the wiring system.
         Fuses, circuit breakers and ground-fault circuit interrupters are three well-known examples
         of such devices.

         Fuses and circuit breakers prevent over-heating of wires and components that might
         otherwise create hazards for operators. They disconnect the circuit when it becomes
         overloaded. This overload protection is very useful for equipment that is left on for extended

Revised August 2004                                                                                    14
       periods of time, such as stirrers, vacuum pumps, drying ovens, variacs, and other electrical

       The ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is designed to shutoff electric power if a ground
       fault is detected. The GFCI is particularly useful near sinks and wet locations. Since a GFCI
       can cause equipment to shutdown unexpectedly, they may not be appropriate for certain
       apparatus. Portable GFCI adapters (available in most safety supply catalogs) may be used
       with a non-GFCI outlet.

Safe Work Practices:

       The following practices may reduce risk of injury or fire when working with electrical

   •   Avoid contact with energized electrical circuits.
   •   Disconnect the power source before servicing or repairing electrical equipment.
   •   When it is necessary to handle equipment that is plugged in, ensure hands are dry and, when
       possible, wear nonconductive gloves and shoes with insulated soles.
   •   If it is not unsafe to do so, work with only one hand, keeping the other hand at your side or in
       your pocket, away from all conductive material. This precaution reduces the likelihood of
       accidents that result in current passing through the chest cavity.
   •   Minimize the use of electrical equipment in cold rooms or other areas where condensation is
       likely. If equipment must be used in such areas, mount the equipment on a wall or vertical
   •   If water or a chemical is spilled onto equipment, shut off power at the main switch or circuit
       breaker and unplug the equipment.
   •   If an individual comes in contact with a live electrical conductor, do not touch the
       equipment, cord or person. Disconnect the power source from the circuit breaker.
   •   For additional information regarding safe work practices, refer to the Resources Materials for
       Specific Job Hazards page on the DOHS website (click on electricity under the heading
       energy): http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/doc/Resources/ResHazards.htm.

High Voltage or Current:

       Repairs of high-voltage or high-current equipment should be performed by trained
       electricians only. Laboratory workers who are experienced in such tasks and would like to
       perform such work on their own laboratory equipment must first receive specialized
       electrical safety related work practices training.

       The following additional precautions should be taken:

   •   Always assume a high-voltage potential exists within a device while servicing it, even if it is
       de-energized, and disconnected from its power source.
   •   Avoid becoming grounded by staying at least 15 cm or 6 inches away from walls, water and

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         all metal materials, including pipes.
     •   Use voltmeters and test equipment with ratings and leads sufficient to measure the highest
         potential voltage expected to be found inside the equipment being serviced.
     •   After servicing, check equipment with a multimeter or appropriate device to ensure it is
         grounded before reconnecting to the power source.

10) Handling and Storing Hazardous Materials

It should be noted that, prior to commencing work in a laboratory, all workers must be properly
trained in WHMIS level 2 as well as any additional training stipulated by DOHS and/or by the
laboratory supervisor or faculty member. For further details regarding training requirements, please
refer to the DOHS training page: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/training.htm.

In addition, it is recommended that all laboratory users review the WHMIS program to familiarize
themselves further with labelling and handling requirements. This document is also available on the
DOHS website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm.

In addition to the requirements set out in the York University WHMIS program, the following
precautions should be followed when handling chemicals:

     •   Before using any chemical, ensure familiarity with its boiling point, flash point, vapour
         pressure, toxicity, explosive limits, incompatibilities, and other special precautions. This
         information is available from the chemical’s MSDS.
     •   Use proper precautions at all times when handling chemicals as nearly all chemicals,
         whether solid, liquid or gas, are poisonous to the human body to some degree.
     •   Use any chemicals that can create vapours well inside the fume hood to ensure proper
         removal of the vapours. Vapours create most of the dangers in the laboratory as they may be
         toxic, flammable or both.
     •   When handling chemicals, wear the appropriate gloves (as stipulated in the chemical’s
         MSDS) and keep hands away from face, eyes, and body until after gloves have been
         removed and hands have been washed thoroughly.
     •   If a chemical is splashed or spilled on the skin, flush the affected area with fresh water
         immediately for a minimum of fifteen minutes or according to the MSDS and report it to the
         lab supervisor.
     •   If a chemical enters the eye, flush the eyes with fresh water (e.g., eye wash station)
         immediately for a minimum of fifteen minutes or according to the MSDS and report it to the
         lab supervisor.
     •   Never test chemicals by taste.
     •   Pour chemical waste solutions into containers specified by the lab supervisor.
     •   Chemicals which react to give off dangerous gases or to cause fire or explosions should not

Revised August 2004                                                                               16
         be kept in proximity to each other.
     •   Sparks and flames near solvents, especially flammable or combustible solvents, should be
     •   Solvents, particularly flammable ones, should not be stored in sunlight or where they may be
         heated above room temperature.
     •   Solvents should not be stored or transported together with strong acids or with oxidizers.
     •   Strong acids should be stored separately from other types of chemicals.
     •   Contaminated gloves should be removed and hands should be washed prior to leaving the
         laboratory and entering common/public spaces.
     •   Chemicals should always be appropriately labelled unless they will be used up completely on
         that day.
     •   Chemicals should not be stored higher than eye level.

Special Handling Procedures:

1)       Transportation and Disposal of Chemicals in Glass Containers

         All chemicals in glass containers must be transported between laboratories in plastic safety
         containers. No chemicals in glass containers will enter or leave the Science Stores area
         unless in safety containers. These safety containers are available in the Petrie and
         Farquharson Science Stores.

2)       Corrosives

         Rubber-coated glass containers (and, where applicable, plastic containers) of acids and
         alkalis are available through Science Stores. These containers offer safety advantages
         including the ability to remain relatively intact during events such as an explosion due to a
         pressure build up or adverse chemical reaction or when the container is dropped or stuck
         against another object.

3)       Allergens (e.g., diazomethane, isocyanates and bichromates)

         Wear suitable gloves to prevent hand contact with the allergens or substances of unknown
         allergenic activity and perform work in the fumehood and/or use a respirator with appropriate

4)       Moderate Chronic and High Acute Toxins (e.g., diisopropylflurophosphate, hydrofluoric
         acid and hydrogen cyanide)

         Protect hands and forearms by wearing either gloves and a laboratory coat or suitable long
         gloves to avoid contact to toxic material with the skin. Procedures involving volatile toxic
         substances and those involving solid or liquid substances that may result in the generation of
         aerosols shall be conducted in a fume hood with an average face velocity of 100 fpm.

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5)       High Chronic Toxins (e.g., dimethylmercury, nickel carbonyl, benzo-a-pyrene, N-
         nitrosodiethylamine, and other human carcinogens)

         Conduct all transfers and work in a “designated area” under a restricted access hood, glove
         box or isolation room designated for use of highly toxic substances. All procedures and
         experiments must be discussed, documented, and pre-approved by your laboratory supervisor
         before handling is permitted. All contaminated equipment, including vacuum pumps and
         glassware, shall be decontaminated in the hood before removing them from the designated
         area. When leaving a designated area, remove any protective apparel, place it in an
         appropriate, labelled container and thoroughly wash hands, forearms, face, and neck.
         Warning and restricted access signs must be posted in the designated area.

For further details on any of the above chemicals, consult the chemical’s MSDS and speak with the
laboratory supervisor or professor.


The handling of compressed gas cylinders must be considered more hazardous than the handling of
liquid and solid materials because of the following properties unique to compressed gases:

     •   high pressure
     •   diffusivity
     •   low flash points for flammable gases
     •   low boiling points
     •   little to no visual and/or odour detection ability

Examples of compressed gas cylinders found on campus are acetylene, helium, anhydrous ammonia,
argon, chlorine, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and propane.

It is recommended that all laboratory users review the WHMIS program to familiarize themselves
further with handling requirements for compressed gas cylinders. This document is available on the
DOHS website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm.

Possible hazards of compressed gas cylinders include:

     •   If the cylinder valve or cylinder connection breaks off, the escaping gas can dangerously
         propel the cylinder like a rocket as it is under pressure.
     •   If overheated, the cylinder could explode even if the gas is not explosive or flammable.
     •   If a leak develops, concentrations of some gases such as chlorine or ammonia can build up
         and become life threatening when inhaled, even if the compressed gas is non-toxic in nature.
     •   A major leak from a cylinder in an enclosed space could displace air and lead to suffocation.
     •   Some compressed gases (e.g. acetylene, propane and hydrogen) are flammable. An air-gas
         mixture leak of this nature can be dangerously explosive.

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In addition to the requirements set out in the York University WHMIS program, the following
storage and handling precautions should be observed:

   •   Secure cylinders of compressed gases with chains or straps so they won't fall over.
   •   Keep caps on cylinders at all all times when not in use.
   •   Pressurized cylinders are to be stored where they will not be exposed to temperatures above
       50 ºC.
   •   Empty cylinders should be labelled as such (usually with the initials "MT") and stored
       separately from full ones.
   •   Cylinders must be transported upright using cylinder trolleys.


   Cryogens are a subcategory of compressed gases. Examples include argon and nitrogen. The
   following hazards are associated with cryogenics:

           •   Asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen (does not apply to liquid air and
           •   Cracking of materials from cold.
           •   Frost bite.
           •   Explosion due to pressure build-up (i.e., in a cold trap).
           •   Condensation of oxygen and fuel (e.g., hydrocarbons) resulting in explosive

   Precautions for handling cryogens include:

           •   Always wear a full-face shield, impervious gloves and proper protective clothing.
           •   Use cryogens only in approved containers that are capable of withstanding the
               extreme cold without becoming brittle.
           •   Use and store in well ventilated areas.
           •   Properly label cryogenic material.
           •   Do not ingest or allow skin contact. Never use hot water to treat a cryogen burn.
           •   Keep reactive cryogens away from sparks and flames.
           •   Slowly immerse objects to be cooled into the coolant. This prevents rapid boiling
               that could splash cooling liquid out of the vessel.
           •   Never use liquid nitrogen or liquid air to cool substances that are combustible in air
               due to the risk of explosion from condensation of the oxygen in air.
           •   Keep cryogenic substances in containers that are not tightly closed to prevent the
               explosive build-up of pressure.

   ii) DRY ICE

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     Dry ice is another subcategory of compressed gases as well as being a subcategory of cryogens.
     Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and is extremely cold (-78.5°C). It is typically
     used in laboratories as a white, odourless solid in the form of snow-like flakes, cubes, blocks,
     slices, or chunks. It forms a fog in the air as it changes directly from solid to a gas (i.e.,

     It is often used for the transportation or storage of items that must remain cold as it does not
     have a liquid state that would otherwise saturate the items being transported or stored, as
     regular ice would. The biggest drawback to using dry ice is the potentially hazard nature of
     dry ice. The potential hazards of dry ice during transportation include:

         1. Explosion hazard:         dry ice releases a large volume of carbon dioxide gas as it
            sublimates. If packaged in a container that does not allow for release of the gas, it may
            explode, causing personal injury or property damage.
         2. Suffocation hazard:       a large volume of carbon dioxide gas emitted in a confined
            space may create an oxygen deficient atmosphere. It is heavier than air and can therefor
            replace oxygen in low-lying areas. It is a confined space hazard.
         3. Contact hazard:           dry ice is a cryogenic material that causes sever frostbite upon
            contact with skin.

Precautions for handling dry ice include:

     •   Use in smallest possible amounts in a well ventilated area to ensure that oxygen
         concentrations in the air remain above 18%.
     •   Do not use with incompatible materials such as potassium, potassium-sodium alloy or
     •   Wear personal protective equipment, particularly appropriate gloves, to avoid contact with
         eye, face and skin.
     •   If transporting dry ice off-campus (by any means), Transportation of Dangerous Goods
         (TDG) rules and regulations will apply (R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 261). Please contact
         DOHS for additional information.
     •   Do not store dry ice in gas-tight containers as the pressure evolved during sublimation may
         cause an explosion of the container.
     •   Add dry ice slowly to the liquid portion of the cooling bath to avoid foaming over.
     •   Do not lower your head into a dry ice chest, since suffocation can result from carbon dioxide


Laboratory glassware requires careful handling. Many unnecessary and painful accidents have
occurred because of improper handling. Some precautions and safety practises are outlined below:

     •   Do not point your test tube at your neighbour or yourself when heating substances.

Revised August 2004                                                                                 20
   •   Carry glass tubing vertically rather than horizontally.
   •   Leather gloves should be worn when inserting a glass tube into a stopper. Hold the tubing or
       stopper between thumb and forefinger and grasp tubing close to point of insertion. Always
       match stopper holes and tubing size. Protect hands with a towel when removing tubing from
       stopper and do not use pressure.
   •   Apparatus that can roll (e.g., thermometers) should be placed on bench at right angles to the
       edge to keep them from rolling onto the floor.
   •   Erlenmeyer and other thin-walled flat bottom flasks are not safe for use under vacuum.
   •   All containers should be completely emptied and rinsed prior to disposal.
   •   Pipettes with ragged edges should be repaired if possible or discarded into the blue
       laboratory glass disposal bin, ensuring that all chemical residues have been rinsed away first.
   •   Syringes or propipettes should be used for toxic or corrosive materials.
   •   Release any vacuum from all parts of apparatus before disconnecting. Particular care should
       be taken when releasing joints that have been sealed with silicon grease.
   •   Discard chipped or broken glassware into the blue laborotory glass disposal bin, ensuring
       that all chemical residues have been rinsed away first.
   •   Broken glass should be removed with a brush and dust pan or cardboard. Never use a cloth
       towel to clean up broken glass.
   •   Any glass or plastic waste that has been in contact with biohazardous materials should be
       placed into white autoclave bags, autoclaved and disposed of in the red biohazard disposal

11) Labelling Hazardous Materials
The WHMIS labelling convention is required by law and in accordance with the York University
WHMIS Program. Correct labelling shall be used at all times. Unmarked or improperly labelled
chemicals can be extremely hazardous in the laboratory. In addition, proper chemical waste disposal
can only occur if proper labelling is utilized. Unless the hazardous material remains in its original
container, there are specific requirements for labelling of secondary containers that hold these
materials (i.e., workplace containers such as smaller storage bottles, etc.). Please refer to the York
University WHMIS program for further details regarding supplier labels, workplace labels and
laboratory labels: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm.

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12) Personal Protective Equipment
Regardless of the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is used, the following general
rules pertain to all laboratories housing hazardous materials:

     1. Where required, the use of PPE is mandatory.
     2. PPE must be functional and appropriate to the environment and conditions that exist.
     3. The type of PPE required is based on information provided in the MSDS and the type
        of work being performed in the lab.
     4. PPE should never be shared among workers.


Eye protection is mandatory in all wet labs, workshops or anywhere that a worker is exposed
to the hazard of eye injury (Sect. 81, Industrial Establishments Regulation R.R.O 1990, Reg. 851,
made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act). Contact lenses shall only be permitted when
worn in conjunction with eye protection and/or as directed by the laboratory supervisor or professor.

The following safety considerations must be made with regard to eye protection:

     •   Wear chemical goggles (or a face shield) when using hazardous chemicals.
     •   Wear chemical goggles and a face shield if violent reactions are anticipated.
     •   Wear safety glasses with side shield for biology dissections.
     •   Use proper glasses for lasers or ultraviolet rays.

NB:      Eye or face protection must meet the standards set out in CSA Standard Z94.3-02, Eye and
         Face Protectors.


Laboratory coats are mandatory in all wet labs. Short skirts/dresses or shorts that leave a
significant portion of skin unprotected shall not be permitted in wet labs.


Foot protection is mandatory in all workshops or anywhere that a worker is exposed to the hazard of
foot injury (Sect. 82, Industrial Establishments Regulation R.R.O 1990, Reg. 851, made under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act). Open toed sandals are not permitted in any wet labs or

NB: Foot protection must meet the standards set out in CSA Standard Z195-02, Protective


Revised August 2004                                                                               22
The appropriate hand protection shall be worn where required. Refer to the MSDS for the type of
gloves required.


Where possible, chemicals and other hazardous materials shall be handled in fumehoods or in locally
ventilated areas.

Selection of the proper respiratory protective device will depend upon a number of factors, the most
important of which relate to the properties of the chemical or material against which protection is
needed. Factors to consider include:

     •   Short Term Exposure Value (STEV)
     •   Time-Weighted Average Exposure Value (TWAEV)
     •   Type of material (e.g., acid, solvent, dust, radioactive, carcinogen, asbestos, ammonia, etc.)
     •   Concentration of the material
     •   Whether it is immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH)

The above properties must be known prior to the use and handling of any hazardous material that
requires the use of respiratory protection. In addition, the following safety considerations must be
made with regard to respiratory protection:

     •   An individual with poor respiratory function (e.g., asthmatics) should not wear respirators
         that require breathing through a protective filter or cartridge.
     •   The user should be fit tested and trained in the proper use and maintenance of the respirator.
         Any changes in body weight of more than 2.5 kg or 5 lbs on the part of the user require new
         fit testing as the face shape and size may change.
     •   Respirators should not be shared among workers.
     •   Respirators are not to be used by individuals with beards or other facial hair that passes
         between the sealing flange of the respirator face piece and the wearer's face. Facial hair may
         cause leakage or interfere with the proper operation of the respirator exhalation valve;
         thereby exposing the wearer to the hazardous contaminants.

NB: The respirator must be NIOSH or CSA approved (Standard Z94.4-02, Selection, Use
and Care of Respirators). Please consult DOHS for further information regarding respirator
selection and fit testing.


In compliance with York University’s Hearing Conservation Program (available on the DOHS
website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm), hearing protection shall be worn if average
noise levels exceed 85 dBA (decibels) over an 8 hour period. As a rule of thumb, if one must
shout to be heard at a distance of 1 m, the noise level is approximately 90 dBA.

Revised August 2004                                                                                 23
The two types of hearing protection available are ear plugs and earmuffs. The user shall be trained
in the proper use and maintenance of the hearing protection. Consult DOHS for further information
regarding the selection and use of hearing protection.

13) Laboratory Equipment and Furniture

To reduce exposure to a hazardous material, always work inside a fumehood. Ensure that the
fumehood being used is the correct classification for the work being performed. A fumehood can be
classified for radioactive, perchloric, chemical, or biological usage. If unsure, check with the
laboratory supervisor.

Prior to starting work, ensure that the fumehood is on and functional.

Face Velocity:

         Check the date of the last face velocity test regularly. If there is no signage indicating the
         type of fumehood, date of maintenance or emergency phone number or if more than 12
         months have lapsed, report it to the laboratory supervisor. Do not use the fumehood in this

         For normal operation, the face velocity gauge must indicate a reading of 70 to 120 feet per
         minute (fpm). A face velocity of 100 fpm is considered optimum.

         To verify the proper operation of an exhaust control system, check for a green light on the
         alarm panel. Open and/or close the sash slowly (moderate pace) and look for the face
         velocity to change and then return to the safe operating range of 70 to 120 fpm within 5


         If a yellow or red light is observed for more than 30 seconds, the system is abnormal and
         indicates an alarm condition. If an alarm sounds and/or a red light is observed, close the sash
         and contact Department of Facilities Management at 22401. Notify the laboratory supervisor
         as well.

Procedures for working in a fumehood:

     •   Do not store unnecessary items in the fumehood.
     •   Assemble all necessary equipment in the fumehood and ensure that the back of the inside of
         the fumehood is not blocked.
     •   Always lower sash to the lowest workable sash height. If no “hands on” work is required,

Revised August 2004                                                                                  24
         close the sash completely and close the sliding doors (if equipped).
     •   Ensure all equipment and all sources of vapour are at least 15 cm or 6 inches behind the sash.
     •   The person in charge of the fumehood is responsible for marking a permanent YELLOW line
         15 cm or 6 inches behind the sash.
     •   Do not lean head or shoulders inside the fumehood.
     •   Use any additional personal protective equipment required. If unsure, check with the
         laboratory supervisor.
     •   Minimize movement across the face of the fumehood. This movement causes turbulence and
         affects efficiency.
     •   Laboratory doors(s) must be closed when work is in progress.

Upon completion of work:

     •   Close or cap all sources of hazardous material.
     •   Clean out the fumehood.
     •   Always lower the sash to the lowest possible height and close the sliding doors (if equipped).
     •   Report any deficiencies or problems to your Supervisor.

In case of power failure:

     •   Close the sash and sliding doors (if equipped).
     •   Close the door of the laboratory.
     •   Leave the building and contact Supervisor and Security at 416-736-3333 (extension 33333).


There are two types of heating bath: water or oil. Oil baths are typically hotter and are therefore
more dangerous. Often materials used in the heating baths are flammable and excessive
temperatures could result in a fire. The following should be considered while using heating baths:

     •   Thermal gloves shall be used when handling heated vessels.
     •   When removing a vessel from the bath, caution should be taken to avoid dripping water or
         oil by carefully wiping the bottom of the vessel.
     •   Heating bath containers should be durable, non-breakable and set up with a firm support so
         they will not tip over.
     •   They should not be placed near either flammable or combustible materials.
     •   In most cases, the bath temperatures are high enough to cause severe burns.
     •   If it is necessary to move the full container, it should be done while the liquid is cool, to
         avoid risk of burning.
     •   The thermostat should always be set well below the flash point of the heating liquid in use.
     •   A thermometer should be present in the bath at all times to provide a visual indication of the
         actual temperature of the bath.

C)       OVENS

Revised August 2004                                                                                 25
Ovens are used in laboratories for baking or curing materials, out-gassing, removing water from
samples, drying glassware, or in some cases providing a controlled, elevated temperature for an
experiment. The following should be considered while using ovens:

     •   Ensure solvent residues have evaporated prior to placing containers in the oven.
     •   Don’t tighten lids on containers placed in the oven.
     •   Every oven should be equipped with a back-up thermostat or temperature controller which
         will control the unit should the primary one fail or shut the oven down.
     •   No unit with only a single thermostat should be used for a long, unattended process.
     •   Ovens should not be used to heat any material from which a toxic vapour or gas would be
         expected to evolve unless provisions are made to exhaust the fumes outdoors, as would be
         done with a fume hood.


The following should be considered while using autoclaves:

     •   All autoclave operators should first be trained by their supervisors.
     •   Pressurized sterilizing chambers or autoclaves are used to sterilize glassware, instruments,
         gloves, liquids in bottles, biological waste, and other materials by steam under pressure.
     •   Autoclaves are typically at pressures slightly below two atmospheres, at temperatures of up
         to 135 C.
     •   Since ovens are heated pressure vessels, they should be checked periodically to ensure that
         the seals to the closures are in good condition and they should be equipped with safety
         devices to prevent excessive temperatures and pressures.
     •   Ensure solvent residues have evaporated prior to placing containers in the oven.
     •   Don’t tighten lids on containers placed in the oven.
     •   Liquids placed in sealed bottles may explode and liquids in ordinary glass bottles (instead of
         Pyrex containers which are designed for the temperatures and pressures) may rupture. Only
         containers intended for autoclave use should be placed into the autoclave.
     •   If the unit is set to exhaust rapidly, as might be done for instrumental sterilization, boiling
         may take place in bottles of liquids with a consequent loss of liquids into the autoclave. As
         such, any containers with liquids should be placed first into a tray. The tray with the liquid-
         filled container should then be placed into the autoclave.
     •   Flammable liquids or chemicals which could become unstable at the temperatures reached in
         the autoclave should not be run through the sterilizing cycle.
     •   Operating instructions and a list of good safety practises should be posted near the autoclave
         at all times for ready reference.

Revised August 2004                                                                                  26

There shall be no storage of food or beverages in laboratory refrigerators or freezers at any
time. The following should be considered while using refrigerators or freezers:

     •   Ensure the refrigerator or freezer type is appropriate for the work being done.
     •   All containers placed in the refrigerator shall be properly labelled with the identification of
         contents, owner, date of acquisition or preparation, and any health and safety hazard.
     •   Containers should be sealed to prevent escape of any vapours.
     •   All chemicals stored in the refrigerator shall be inventoried periodically and unneeded
         chemicals should be removed.
     •   Flammable liquids shall not be stored in a laboratory refrigerator unless it is explosion proof.
     •   The refrigeration unit should have a label itself indicating the type of materials being stored
         in it as well as the possible hazards that they may present.
     •   The confined space within refrigeration units permits vapours from improperly sealed
         containers to accumulate - these vapours may be toxic and thereby provide danger to an
         individual entering the unit without this awareness.
     •   Caution should be taken to avoid cracking or shattering when removing vessels from


The following should be considered while using storage cabinets:

     •   Use only Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC Listed) storage cabinents for the
         storage of flammable or combustible materials.
     •   Always label to correctly identify the contents of the storage cabinets in general categories
         (e.g., acids, oxidizers, bases, etc.).
     •   Chemicals known to be highly toxic, including those classified as carcinogens, should be
         stored in a designated ventilated area.
     •   Store acids and bases separately and fuels and oxidizers separately.
     •   Chemicals that are incompatible must not be stored in close proximity (refer to Appendix III
         for information regarding incompatible chemicals).
     •   If possible, place trays or bins into the cabinets then place the chemical containers into the
         trays or bins. In the case of a spill, leak or breakage, a potentially large and hazardous mess
         is avoided.


The following should be considered for proper maintenance of all laboratory equipment:

     •   Make sure that equipment is safe to use in order to prevent accidents from occurring as a
         result of improper or defective equipment.

Revised August 2004                                                                                   27
     •   An inspection and maintenance plan for tools and machinery must be implemented by each
         department and a record kept of all inspections and maintenance work performed in
         accordance with the plan.
     •   Each tool and machine shall always be checked by laboratory supervisor, teaching assistants
         or students to make sure that there is no visible defect.

14) Hazardous Waste Disposal
The information below indicates most of the disposal procedures for hazardous waste at York
University, however it may not answer all questions. For further information, contact the Faculty of
Science and Engineering (Stores Section), Facilities Services (Grounds and Vehicles Section), or the
Department of Occupational Health and Safety.

Hazardous waste can be disposed of through Science Stores or Grounds and Vehicles at Keele
campus and through Physical Plant at Glendon campus. In addition, some departments have made
their own arrangements directly with approved disposal companies for the disposal of hazardous
wastes in their area. If unsure about the appropriate waste disposal procedure for your area, contact
your supervisor.

Hazardous waste is subject to additional handling rules that are governed by the Ministry of
Environment and Energy (Reg. 347) and rules imposed by dump sites. Failure to observe proper
handling procedures can result in legal action against York University or specific individuals. The
denial of dumping privileges may also be imposed.


Waste Generators:       Shall be aware of and comply with proper handling and disposal techniques
                        and procedures. This includes proper identification and labelling of all waste
                        materials. For more information regarding labelling requirements, refer to
                        the York University WHMIS Program on the DOHS website:

Supervisors:            Shall train and ensure compliance by their staff and do routine checks to
                        confirm that containers are being used as intended and labelled properly for

Stores Personnel:       Shall ensure that waste receptacles are available, that collection areas are
                        controlled and that supervisors are made aware of non-compliance.

Revised August 2004                                                                                28

All hazardous waste, including chemical waste and gas cylinders, must be appropriately packaged
and clearly identified before it is brought to Science Stores or picked up by Grounds and Vehicles.
Any wastes that are not properly labelled will not be disposed of. The cost of identifying and then
disposing of unknown materials will be borne by the department from which the materials originate.

A sample of a chemical waste label used by the Faculty of Science and Engineering is provided

                                 CHEMICAL WASTE                                         001

         CHEMICAL NAME:________________________________________________

         GENERATOR NAME:______________________________________________

                                Remarks on Dangerous Properties

               Flammable?: YES         NO          Volume: __________L
               pH: ________DATE: _____________________________________

Chemical waste must be disposed of in appropriate containers (e.g., hydrofluoric acid in non-glass
containers, strong bases in plastic containers, etc.). Incompatible chemicals should be disposed of in
separate containers (e.g., concentrated acids should not be mixed with bases, oxidizing agents should
not be mixed with reducing agents). If in doubt, check the MSDS. Absolutely no chemical wastes
shall be disposed of in the sink or any other sanitary or storm sewer system.

Gases which are too toxic to vent to air should be chemically neutralized or rendered safe before
disposal (e.g., nickel-tetra carbonyl and hydrogen cyanide). Again, check the MSDS for further


Biohazardous waste is waste that contains:

     •   Infectious agents
     •   Blood or body fluids, including waste from research and teaching activities
     •   Liquids such as used cell culturing media, supernatant, blood or blood fractions (serum)
         which contain viable biological agents
     •   Materials considered pathological, including any part of the human body, tissues and bodily
         fluids but excluding extracted teeth, hair, nail clippings and the like that are not infectious

Revised August 2004                                                                                  29
     •   Any part of an animal infected [or suspected to be infected] with a communicable disease
     •   Non-sharp, solid laboratory waste (e.g., empty plastic cell culture flasks and petri dishes,
         empty plastic tubes, gloves, wrappers, absorbent tissues, damaged or single-use glassware,
         etc.) which may be, or is known to be, contaminated with viable biological agents
     •   All sharp and pointed items used in medical care, diagnosis, and research, including the
         manipulation and care of laboratory animals, which should be considered potentially

None of the above waste products shall be put in the ordinary garbage. Private waste
contractors arranged through Science Stores will dispose of labelled biohazardous wastes. The
procedure below should be followed for the disposal of biohazardous waste:

     (1) Place the infectious waste into a hard-shell sharps container and/or a labelled bag. The
         container and/or bag should be labelled with the following:
            • The words "INFECTIOUS WASTE"
            • The universal biohazard symbol
     (2) Contact a biology lab technician in advance to arrange for autoclaving.
     (3) When the hard-shell sharps container and/or bags are full, bring them to an autoclave room.
         There are two autoclave rooms on campus:
            • The first is located within Lumbers Building room 120A.
            • The second is located within the Farquharson Building, opposite room 227A.
     (4) After the items have been autoclaved, dispose of them in the red biohazardous waste bins.

Autoclaves in Farquharson and Lumbers are for the sole use of the Faculty of Science and
Engineering personnel working in those buildings. All others wishing to use the autoclaves must
have written approval from the Department Chair. Waste generators in other buildings should
follow the instructions in the previous paragraph.

D)       SHARPS

Biohazardous sharps are metal wastes such as razor blades, needles, scalpels, etc. which have come
into contact with any of the agents listed above. These must NOT be placed in with the ordinary
garbage. The procedure below should be followed for the disposal of biohazardous sharps:

     (1) Place all sharps into a hard-shell sharps container.
            • Note that all syringes should be empty of liquid prior to disposal into a sharps
     (2) Once the container is full, take it to Farquharson Stores:
            • Obtain and complete a stick-on label. The label must be marked with the following
                o Building name and room number where the waste was generated
                o Date of disposal
                o Name of personnel disposing of waste

Revised August 2004                                                                               30
            •  Note that the same information is to be entered in the control sheet kept in
               Farquharson Stores.
     (3) Once labelled, the container should be placed in the walk-in freezer ( room G104) in
         Farquharson Stores (room 128):
            • Obtain the key to the walk-in storage freezer from the Stores attendant.
            • Place the labelled sharps container into a biohazardous waste cardboard box in the
               freezer (these boxes are marked with a biohazard symbol). If there is insufficient
               space in the box or if a box is not present, speak with the Stores attendant for an
               additional box.


All solid waste (including laboratory glass and plastic waste) must be free of apparent chemical
residue in order to be accepted by local waste stations. As such, all empty containers (as defined
below) that once held chemical agents must be rinsed and allowed to air dry (without the cap on)
prior to disposal.

NB: Ontario's Environmental Protection Act has a General Waste Management Regulation
(R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 347) that defines "empty container" as "a container from which all wastes and
other materials have been removed using the removal practices such as pumping or pouring
commonly used for the specific materials and that contains less than 2.5 centimetres of material on
the bottom of the container."

Given the above, laboratories, shops and other areas that have empty chemical containers (as defined
above) can rinse these bottles in the sink. Again, all chemical waste must be properly disposed of
first, in accordance with departmental and university procedures.

NB: Laboratory glass and plastic is different from domestic glass and plastic (i.e., juice bottles,
water bottles, food containers, etc.). Domestic containers shall be recycled in the blue recycling
bins available throughout the campus – they should never be mixed with laboratory items.

Initial Treatment of Waste Glass:

a)      All empty containers are to be uncapped and rinsed of any chemical residue then disposed of
        in the blue laboratory glass box. If necessary, glassware can be dried in the fumehoods
        overnight to ensure evaporation of any remaining chemical vapours.
b)      All biohazardous glassware is to be autoclaved before being put in the red biohazardous
        materials boxes in the autoclave rooms.

Revised August 2004                                                                              31
Disposal of Waste Glass:

Farquharson & Lumbers Buildings only

       The handling of blue laboratory glass boxes is performed by Caretaking. When full, boxes
       are to be put in the corridor ready for the evening Caretaking shift to deal with (Monday
       through Thursday nights only). The evening shift is responsible for wheeling the full boxes
       to the dock, emptying them into the dumpster, hosing them out, and returning them to the
       same room where they came from. Blue laboratory glass boxes should be identified with the
       original room and building to ensure proper return.

       Red biohazardous materials boxes are used only in the autoclaving rooms (i.e., 120A
       Lumbers, 227 Farquharson and 305 Farquharson). These red biohazardous materials boxes
       will be returned to the rooms where they came from and not used elsewhere.

       For autoclaving waste glass, the standard white opaque bags should be used, and these of
       course must be sealed. Red biohazardous materials boxes should be lined with clear plastic
       bags in case of leakage of materials from the white autoclave bags placed into them. The
       autoclaving process sterilizes what might otherwise be biologically hazardous; whatever is in
       those bags is considered safe once autoclaved and is therefore acceptable to the landfill

Petrie Science and Chemistry Buildings only

       The handling of blue laboratory glass boxes will be by Grounds and Vehicles only, on a day
       to be designated by them (normally Tuesday).

       When boxes are full, phone 55502 (not later than 3:00 p.m. on Monday for a Tuesday pick-
       up) and advise the room number for pick-up. The full box should be put in the corridor
       outside the room last thing on Monday.

       Knowing (from the phone calls) the number of boxes involved, Grounds will bring an equal
       number of clean boxes, and put them inside the labs before removing the full boxes. The full
       boxes are to be trucked to the Farquharson dock, emptied, rinsed and then returned to
       Facilities storage, ready for use next time.

Behavioural Sciences Building only

       The handling of blue laboratory glass boxes will be by Grounds and Vehicles only, on a day
       to be designated by them (normally Tuesday).

       When the Vivaria Supervisor has a full box, phone 55502 (not later than 3:00 p.m. on
       Monday for a Tuesday pick-up). The full box should be put in the corridor behind door 337
       last thing on Monday.

Revised August 2004                                                                              32
       The full box is to be trucked to the Farquharson dock, emptied, rinsed and then returned to
       Facilities storage, ready for use next time.

Norman Bethune College only

       The handling of blue laboratory glass boxes will be by Grounds and Vehicles only, on a day
       to be designated by them (normally Tuesday).

       When Physical Education lab users have a full box, they should phone 55502 (not later than
       3:00 p.m. on Monday for a Tuesday pick-up). The full box should be put in the corridor
       outside room 126 last thing on Monday.

       Knowing (from the phone call) that a pick-up in Norman Bethune College is required,
       Grounds will bring a clean box and leave it in room 126 Bethune.

       The full box is to be trucked to the Farquharson dock, emptied, rinsed and then returned to
       Facilities storage, ready for use next time.


Plastic pipettes and petrie dishes are to be treated as if they were glass and disposed of in the blue
laboratory glass boxes (if not in contact with biohazardous materials). As with laboratory glass,
these should be rinsed of chemical residue prior to disposal. However, if the plastic ware has been
used for biohazardous materials, it should be placed into the white autoclave bags, autoclaved and
disposed of in the red biohazardous materials boxes.


The Radiation Safety Officer in DOHS maintains and oversees rules pertaining to the disposal of
radioactive waste. The disposal and handling procedures are included in the York University
Radiation Safety Manual prepared by the Radiation Safety Committee (available on the DOHS
website: http://www.yorku.ca/dohs/programs.htm). An external waste contractor specializing in the
disposal of radioactive materials picks up radioactive waste.

For further information regarding radioactive waste, please contact the laboratory supervisor or

Revised August 2004                                                                                33
                                Appendix I:

                 Emergency Spill and/or Odour Procedure
                Emergency Response Plan for Chemical Spills
                Emergency Response Plan for Biological Spills

                      WHMIS Laboratory Door Poster

Revised August 2004                                             34

                           SPILL? Hazardous / Unmanageable
                                 ODOUR? Noxious

                                    LEAVE AREA
                                 Shut Down Activities
                               Take Essential Belongings

                                                                                For more information,
                                    CLOSE DOOR                                    contact CANUTEC:
                                                                             Information 613-992-4624
                                                                              Emergency 613-996-6666
                                                                          CANUTEC is the Canadian Transport
                                                                      Emergency Centre operated by Transport
                                                                 Canada to assist emergency response personnel
                                                                     in handling dangerous goods emergencies.
                                     HIGH RISK?
                               Immediate health hazard to
                               Chance of fire or explosion?

                                YES                 NO or I

    SOUND FIRE ALARM                                                              CALL 33333
        Via Pull Station                                                               OR
          CALL 911
From campus phone, campus pay                              WAIT FOR INFORMATION
phone or mobile phone.                                      FROM AUTHORITIES
                                                          (Dept. of Occ. Health and Safety)
CALL 33333 From campus phone                           OBTAIN SPILLS KIT TO CLEAN
 or campus pay phone OR CALL                                    UP SPILL
416-736-5333 From campus pay
       Revised August 2004                                    (Take precautions as needed) 35
     phone or mobile phone.

                                    E.R.P.: CHEMICAL SPILLS


This procedure will protect the health and safety of members of the community from potential
harmful substances, fumes or vapours resulting from a chemical spill.


1.0    Employee notices spill/odour.

       1.1     If safe to do so, turn on fume hoods. If spill is manageable (e.g., not a large volume
               or not particularly noxious), obtain the appropriate spills kit and clean up spill as
               necessary then call your supervisor to report what has occurred.

       1.2     If the spill is unmanageable (e.g., large volume or noxious), leave the area, ensuring
               that all other laboratory experiments have been turned off and that necessary
               personal items have been collected (as you may not be permitted back into the

       1.3     Close door.

       1.4     If hazard is life threatening, pull fire alarm and contact Toronto Emergency Services
               at 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) from a safe place. Immediately following this
               call, you must contact Security Control Centre (SCC) (ext. 33333 or 416-736-5333).
               Ensure that the following information is relayed to both Emergency Services and

                      •   Name of caller
                      •   Location of caller
                      •   Location of incident
                      •   Telephone number
                      •   Supervisor in charge of area
                      •   Description of incident, including what chemicals are involved, their quantity
                          and whether the spill itself is dangerous
                      •   Whether emergency services are required. If so, which type?

       1.5     Call supervisor.

2.0    SCC calls the Department of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS). During off-hours,
       SCC will assume full evacuation and/or call the Chemical Control Officer from DOHS at

3.0    DOHS/SCC obtains MSDS and/or WHMIS Inventory.

Revised August 2004                                                                                  36
       3.1     DOHS checks list of resource personnel.

       3.2     DOHS notifies closest/appropriate resource person.

       3.3     DOHS calls Health and Safety Officer (HSO) or Co-Chair of appropriate Joint
               Health and Safety Committee.

4.0    Site Control1 meets at the spill/odour site. Security Supervisor assumes role of On-Scene
       Control Officer (OSCAR).

5.0    If fire alarm is not pulled, resource person helps decide if full or partial evacuation is
       necessary. When there is a doubt, evacuate.

       5.1     Turn on fume hoods if not already on.

6.0    If a full evacuation is required, the fire alarm is pulled and the Evacuation Procedure2 is
       followed. Follow all instructions provided by the Toronto Fire Department (TFD).

7.0    If required or instructed to do so by the TFD, Security/DOHS calls in HAZMAT Team3.

1: The Site Control group consists of one or more representatives from DOHS, Health Safety Officer
(HSO) and the resource person for the area or JHSC.
2: See the Evacuation Procedure in the York University Emergency Response Plan.
3: The HAZMAT Team is an external company that specializes in the clean up of hazardous

8.0    If Site Control group decides that TFD is not required, SCC masks the fire alarm from the
       monitoring company (i.e., the fire panel is disconnected or the signal is overrode).

       8.1     Upon notification from SCC, pull fire alarm, call Unit 17 or University Fire Marshal
               (UFM), and give exact location of the pull station activated.

       8.2     Follow Evacuation Procedures2 for evacuation of building.

9.0    Worker/Supervisor obtains spill kit.

       9.1     Supervisor or designate who is responsible for the spill performs the clean up.

       9.2     Upon clearance given by DOHS, Fire Prevention resets the fire panel during normal
               working hours or SCC resets the fire panel during off hours.

Revised August 2004                                                                              37
       NOTE: It is important that the Fire Panel be reset after evacuation, as prolonged
       activation will damage the Fire Alarm system.

10.0   Where appropriate, a debriefing meeting will be held consisting of all key personnel
       involved in the incident.

11.0   If resource person or Site Control group decides that a partial evacuation is required, SCC
       or DOHS evacuates the area.

       11.1    Repeat items 9.1 and 9.2 above, if necessary.

       11.2    DOHS provides clearance when area is considered safe.

12.0   If resource person or Site Control group decides that an evacuation is not required, DOHS
       will decide on appropriate action.

       12.1    Repeat items 9.1 and 9.2 above, if necessary.

       NOTE: Fire Prevention must be contacted when a Pull Station is activated during
       normal working hours.

13.0   Employee/supervisor returns spills kit to appropriate location and ensures that it is cleaned,
       re-stocked and ready for the next user.

       13.1    Employee/supervisor fills out spills kit form.

14.0   DOHS notifies appropriate areas of incident and distributes report, if required.

Revised August 2004                                                                               38
                                  E.R.P.: BIOLOGICAL SPILLS


The following procedure is provided as a guideline for spills involving biological agents in Risk
Groups 1 and 2. NOTE: Work involving biological agents classified under Risk Group 3 and 4 are
not performed at York University.

Please refer to the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines 2nd Ed. 1996 for a list of agents within each risk
group http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/ols-bsl/lbg-ldmbl/pdf/lbg-3e-draft.pdf.

Risk Group 1 – (low individual and community risk): This group includes those microorganisms,
bacteria viruses and parasites, which are unlikely to cause disease in healthy workers or animals.

Risk Group 2 – (moderate individual risk, limited community risk): A pathogen that can cause
human or animal disease but under normal circumstances, is unlikely to be a serious hazard to
healthy laboratory workers, the community livestock, or the environment. Laboratory exposed
rarely cause infection leading to e serious disease, effective treatment and preventative measures are
available and the risk of spread is limited.

Risk Group 3 – (high individual risk, low community risk): A pathogen that usually causes serious
human or animal disease, or which can result in serious economic consequences but does not
ordinarily spread by casual contact form one individual to another, or that can be treated by
antimicrobial or antiparasitic agents.

Risk Group 4 – (high individual risk, high community risk): A pathogen that usually produces very
serious human animal disease, often untreatable, and may be readily transmitted from one individual
to another, or from animal to human or vice-versa directly or indirectly, or casual contact.

Spill response and clean-up procedures incorporating the steps outlined below are recommended
regardless of the type and nature of the spill.

Biological Spill Response

1.0    Worker notices spill.

       1.1     Evacuate the immediate area and warn others to stay away.

       1.2     Do not touch or walk through spilled material.

       1.3     If clothing and/or shoes are contaminated, remove them immediately.

       1.4     In case of direct contact with the hazardous material, immediately flush the skin or
               eyes as appropriate with water for at least 15 minutes. If skin is contaminated, wash

Revised August 2004                                                                                39
               with soap and water. Seek medical attention as necessary.

       1.5     Have an uncontaminated person call Security Control Centre (SCC) from safe place
               (ext. 33333 or 416-736-5333). Ensure that the following information is relayed to

               •      Name of caller
               •      Location of caller
               •      Location of incident
               •      Telephone number
               •      Supervisor in charge of area
               •      Description of incident
               •      Whether emergency services are required. If so, which type?

       1.6     Call supervisor.

2.0    SCC calls the Department of Occupational Health Safety (DOHS). Security Supervisor
       assumes the role of On-Scene Control Officer (OSCAR).

3.0    DOHS, notifies closest/appropriate resource person and calls the Health and Safety Officer
       (HSO) for the Faculty of Science and Engineering or the Co-Chair of the appropriate Joint
       Health and Safety Committee.

schematic representation of the above procedures.

Biological Spill Clean Up

1.0    Clean up should be performed or supervised by a knowledgeable person.

2.0    Obtain a spill clean up kit. Spill clean up kits are available at Science Stores in Farquharson,
       and Petrie.

       2.1     Contents of the spills kit available for purchase at Science Stores:

               •      3 pairs of nitrile gloves
               •      3 absorbent pads
               •      1 polyethlyene bag
               •      20 litre bucket

       A central spill kit containing additional items e.g. rubber boots, Keep Out signs or
       Caution tape, respirators, aprons, etc. is also available at the Science Stores for anyone to

Revised August 2004                                                                                 40

3.0    Put on the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, a
       respirator, etc. to ensure that you do not come in contact with the spilled substance.

       3.1     PPE should be changed if torn or soiled and always removed before leaving the
               location of the spill.

       3.2     Cover the spill area with an absorbent material (e.g., paper towels, absorbent pad,

       3.3     Carefully pour suitable disinfectant solution around the edges and then into the
               centre to avoid splashing or aerosolising the material.

       3.4     Allow for appropriate contact period.

       3.5     Use absorbent material to wipe up spill, working from the edges into the centre.

       3.6     Clean spill area with fresh paper towels soaked in disinfectant.

       3.7     Discard all materials as biohazardous waste (refer to Hazardous Waste Procedures).

       3.8     Wash hands thoroughly.

4.0    Complete DOHS Chemical/Biological Incident Form (attached) and send a copy to DOHS
       within 24 hours. A copy will be sent to the relevant Joint Health and Safety Committee and
       the Biosafety Committee.

Revised August 2004                                                                               41

Department: ________________ Building: ____________ Room: ________________

CONTACT PERSON: (1)_____________________ (2)_________________________

Campus Phone Number: (1)______________________ (2)______________________


                 Request Ambulance, Fire Department or Police. Provide details.
        Then contact Security Services at 33333 or 416-736-5333 to inform them of your call.


HAZARDS IN THIS ROOM:                        (Cross out those that don’t apply)

                       Flammable and
                                                                             Poisonous and Infectious Material
 Compressed Gas                             Oxidizing Material    Causing Immediate &     Causing Other Toxic   Biohazardous Infectious
                     Combustible Material
                                                                  Serious Toxic Effects         Effects                Material

                     Dangerously Reactive
Corrosive Material
                                            Radiation Hazard       Electrical Hazard          Laser Light       Microwave Radiation

PROTECTIVE MEASURES REQUIRED IN THIS ROOM:                                                    (Cross out those that don’t apply)

 Lab Coat       Safety Goggles     Film Badge                                                           No Food or         Hearing
                                                     Respirator      Safety Shoes         Gloves
    MANDATORY                       Required                                                              Drink           Protection

               Dated: ____________________________ Posted by: ___________________________

         Revised August 2004                                                                                                  42
                               Appendix II:

              DOHS Chemical/Biological Incident Report Form

               Supervisors Accident Investigation Report Form

Revised August 2004                                             43

Date           of          Incident:_____________________                    Time             of

Person in Charge of Room:__________________________________________________________

Telephone No.:____________________________________________________________________

Building:___________________________ Room Number:________________________________

Names of All Persons Exposed (attach sheet if necessary):__________________________________
Chemical and Quantity involved:____________________________________________________

Description of Incident:___________________________________________________________



Action Taken:_____________________________________________________________________

Comments and Recommendations:_____________________________________________________

Date of Report:_________________________________________________

Reporting Member of DOHS:_____________________________________

The Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report is available from the Employee Well Being Office’s
website (http://www.yorku.ca/hr/documents/ewb/Supervisors_Accident_Investigation_Report.pdf).
It should be noted that this form is to be returned to the Employee Well Being Office within 24
hours of an accident or incident occurrence in the workplace.

Revised August 2004                                                                           44
                           Appendix III:

                      Chemical Incompatibility

Revised August 2004                              45
   CHEMICAL (Examples)                                      IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH
                                     chromic acid, nitric acid, hydroxyl compounds, ethylene glycol, perchloric
           Acetic acid
                                                           acid, peroxides, permanganates
           Acetylene                             chlorine, bromine, copper, fluorine, silver, mercury
                                    concentrated nitric acid and sulfuric acid mixtures, chlorinated solvent/alkali
 Alkali and alkaline earth metals
                                    water, carbon tetrachloride or other chlorinated hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide,
 (powdered Al or Mg,Ca, Li, Na,
                                       mercury (i.e., in manometers), chlorine, calcium hypo-chlorite, iodine,
      Ammonia, anhydrous
                                                        bromine, hydro-fluoric acid anhydrous
                                     acids, powdered metals, flammable liquids, chlorates, nitrites, sulfur, finely
       Ammonium nitrate
                                                     divided organic or combustible materials
             Aniline                                        nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide
        Arsenic materials                                         any reducing agent
             Azides                                                      acids
         Calcium oxide                                                   water
        Carbon, activated                             calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents
      Carbon tetrachloride                                              sodium
                                      ammonium salts, acids, powdered metals, sulfur, finely divided organic or
                                                               combustible materials
         Chromic acids                           acetic acid, naphthalene, camphor, glycerol, alcohol
       Chromium trioxide                                           liquids in general
                                    ammonia, acetylene, butadiene, butane, methane, propane (or other petroleum
                                     gases), hydrogen, sodium carbide, benzene, finely divided metals, turpentine
        Chlorine dioxide                          ammonia, methane, phosphine, hydrogen sulfide
                                      strong bases, ketones and strong base, alkaline metals, aluminum, strong
             Copper                                         acetylene, hydrogen peroxide
     Cumene hydroperoxide                                   acids (organic and inorganic)
            Cyanides                                                     acids
       Flammable liquids                   ammonium nitrate, chromic acid, hydrogen peroxide, halogens
            Fluorine                                                  everything
             Hexane                                         water, strong oxidizing agents
Hydrocarbons (butane, benzene)               fluorine, chlorine, bromine, chromic acid, sodium peroxide
        Hydrocyanic acid                                           nitric acid, alkali
  Hydrofluoric acid, anhydrous                            ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous)

Revised August 2004                                                                                               46
    CHEMICAL (Examples)                                          IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH
                                         copper, chromium, iron, most metals or their salts, alcohols, acetone, organic
        Hydrogen peroxide
                                                    materials, aniline, nitromethane, combustible materials
         Hydrogen sulfide                                      fuming nitric acid, oxidizing gases
          Hypochlorites                                              acids, activated carbons
              Iodine                                acetylene, ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous), hydrogen
             Mercury                                           acetylene, fulminic acid, ammonia
              Nitrates                                                     sulfuric acid
                                            acetic acid, aniline, chromic acid, hydrocyanic acid, hydrogen sulfide,
     Nitric acid, concentrated
                                             flammable liquids, flammable gases, copper, brass, any heavy metal
              Nitrites                                                         acids
          Nitroparaffins                                             inorganic bases, amines
            Oxalic acid                                                  silver, mercury
              Oxygen                                oils, grease, hydrogen; flammable liquids, solid or gases
          Perchloric acid                 acetic anhydride, bismuth and its alloys, alcohol, paper, wood, grease, oils
        Peroxides, organic                            acids (organic or mineral), avoid friction, store cold
        Phosphorus, white                                    air, oxygen, alkalides, reducing agents
            Potassium                                      carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water
        Potassium chlorate                                           sulfuric and other acids
      Potassium perchlorate
                                                                     sulfuric and other acids
       <see also chlorates>
     Potassium permanganate                          glycerol, ethylene glycol, benzaldehyde, sulfuric acid
             Selenides                                                   reducing agents
               Silver                     acetylene, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, ammonium compounds, fulminic acid
              Sodium                                       carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water
          Sodium nitrite                                 ammonium nitrate and other ammonium salts
                                         ethyl or methyl alcohol, glacial acetic acid, acetic anhydride, benzaldehyde,
         Sodium peroxide                   carbon disulfide, glycerin, ethylene glycol, ethyl acetate, methyl acetate,
              Sulfides                                                         acids
                                         potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate, potassium permanganate (similar
           Sulfuric acid
                                                    compounds of light metals, such as sodium, lithium)
             Tellurides                                                  reducing agents

The table above does not in any way represent an exhaustive list of chemical incompatibility. Instead, it lists a variety of
chemicals that are commonly used at York University. For those chemicals not listed here, it is advised that you contact
the laboratory supervisor or refer to the MSDS for further details.

Revised August 2004                                                                                                      47

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